Castle folly at Forbidden Corner faces demolition

An enforcement notice is to be served on the owners of a visitor attraction after a castle folly was built without planning permission.

The notice to the owners of the Forbidden Corner visitor attraction near Leyburn, North Yorkshire, will require them to demolish a prominent “castle folly” which has been built.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) approved the enforcement notice after receiving a report from officers which said that the nearly 10-metre high folly had introduced an unacceptable element of pastiche development into the local area.

“The Forbidden Corner is a very welcome success story, which makes a significant positive contribution to the local economy,” said Robert Heseltine, the YDNPA’s member champion for development management.

“But it cannot be right to build a large castle folly, visible for miles around, in an historic and culturally important landscape, without even bothering to seek planning permission.”

The YDNPA was informed of the folly – which lies within the Forbidden Corner gardens – in March and building work ceased with the gatehouse part of the folly at a height of about seven metres above the surface of a wall-fronted walkway. 

A retrospective application for planning permission was submitted on 1st June, but was withdrawn in late July following a decision by YDNPA officers to recommend that the planning committee refuse permission.

Once served, the enforcement notice will require the demolition and removal of the castle folly and the restoration of the site to its previous condition within three months.

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